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Old 08-13-2008, 03:18 AM   #1
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Default How Much Black Pepper?!

I've decided to add some black pepper to my IPA. Having never used such an additive, I don't know how much to add for the last 5 min of the boil without overpowering everything. Im using 2 oz of sterling for bittering and 3/4 oz cascade for aroma. I saw a black pepper porter recipe with 1 oz of black pepper, half added for the last 5 of the boil and half in the primary. Can i even really safely put something like that in the primary without messing up the fermentation? Lemme know what you think of such an amount. Thanks all!
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:22 AM   #2
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Fermentation will be fine. Really Pepper has noting to inhibit fermentation, and will have a neglagable effect on PH.

I added 4 whole peppercorns (Smacked with a spoon) to the end of the boil of my Braggot. It's only 2 days old, so it's going to be about 300 or 400 days before I can tell you if it was enough or over powering.

Sorry I'm not more help.
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:41 AM   #3
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Yikes, the recipe for a black pepper porter I found called for a whole ounce....thats a lot more than 4 peppercorns. Hmmmm not an easy decision.
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:43 AM   #4
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The Brewing Network interviewed the guy from Furthermore, and they talked about the black pepper beer they make.

Here's a discussion on their forum about a clone of it.
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:16 AM   #5
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Nice, the guy who tried it there put the pepper in for 60 min!?!?! Does anyone else find that a little crazy? I was going to do 5 or 7 min at the end, then maybe a dry hop after giving it a taste.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:32 AM   #6
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It depends on how much flavor contribution you want from the pepper. I used a half ounce of course crushed (w/ mortar and pestle) in the last 10 m of the boil and the flavor is not overwhelming but it's strong enough to stand out. An ounce would be a bit too much IMHO depending on the recipe.

9lbs Marris Otter
3lbs Rye Malt
1lb Crystal 60
7oz Wheat
1tblsp Gypsum in the kettle
.5 ounce of course crushed black peppercorns @ 10m
.5 tsp Irish moss
1oz Williamette FWH
1oz Columbus @ 60
1oz Columbus @ 40
1oz Williamette dry hop
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:33 AM   #7
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It really is going to depend on how strongly hopped flavored your IPA is. If you have a strong hop aroma and flavor than you will need more black pepper for it to be noticed. If you have a moderate hop flavor and aroma you will need less.

I would start with a little less than you think you need, and add more in Secondary after you dry hop if you taste it and it is not enough. The guys from furthermore do put it in the beg'ninng of the boil, but theyre using a hell of a lot of pepper. I would say save for the last 10 minutes, unless you're using the quantities that they're using...
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:42 AM   #8
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Also remember, pepper is a cumulative flavor. So if you taste just a little in the first sip, well, it builds up and all of a sudden by the end you have a pepper bite.
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:10 PM   #9
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FWIW A belgian-esque peppercorn beer was the worst, and most disappointing, I have ever had. I still have 11 bottles of it left. Thinking of dumping it and using the bottles. What a waste.
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:59 PM   #10
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Ya I think I'll do half an ounce or maybe even less, thanks for the input everyone.
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